In a July 29 address, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said coal and other fossil fuels would remain a vital part of the energy portfolio of the U.S. for many years to come. Moniz also stressed importance technologies like carbon capture and sequestration can play in cutting the amount of greenhouse gases released by power producers.
“No discussion of U.S. energy security and reducing global carbon dioxide emissions is complete without talking about coal — and the technologies that will allow us to use this resource more efficiently and with fewer greenhouse gas emissions,” Moniz said, according his prepared remarks as posted on the Department of Energy's website.
The U.S. is already beginning to see the effects of climate change, he said, in the form of extended droughts, more severe storms and long-lasting heat waves — disasters that can cut electricity customers off from the power supply in one way or another.
Progress on fighting climate change has already been made during President Barack Obama's first term, he said.
“In the last four years, we’ve more than doubled renewable energy generation from wind and solar power. However, coal and other fossil fuels still provide 80 percent of our energy, 70 percent of our electricity, and will be a major part of our energy future for decades. That’s why any serious effort to protect our kids from the worst effects of climate change must also include developing, demonstrating and deploying the technologies to use our abundant fossil fuel resources as cleanly as possible,"
In early July 2013, the DOE released a draft loan guarantee solicitation for innovative and advanced fossil energy projects and facilities that substantially reduce greenhouse gas and other air pollution. The program will award up to $8 billion to develop fossil fuel-based energy technologies that show promise for cutting emissions — including carbon capture, low-carbon power systems and energy efficiency improvements.
"These investments will play a critical role in accelerating the introduction of low-carbon fossil fuel technologies into the marketplace and reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Moniz said at the time.